As these examples show, problems come in all shapes and sizes, and there are often multiple ways to solve them. In the workplace, as in life, it’s almost always best to address problems directly and quickly. Tackling them after they’ve spread can be much harder, more expensive or even dangerous.
Problem solving is often a routine part of the working day. For example, you might view an old boiler as a problem that needs to be ‘solved’. The solution involves installing a new boiler, and all the drilling, plumbing, wiring and testing to produce an effective heating system. Larger jobs – particularly on a project the scale of HPC – involve the solving of numerous problems: like routing pipes to avoid other services, tracing a leak in the finished system or ensuring everything in a new installation works together.
Teams often work together to solve problems. Sometimes there’s time to devise and implement a careful plan, such as when planning the construction of a new build. At other times, colleagues might need to think and act quickly together – for example if they’ve cut through an unmarked water pipe.